Inspired by a rich and flavorful vegan “faux gras” that I sampled at Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg, I tried my hand at mushroom, lentil, walnut, and mushroom pate. It was perfect for the dinner party I hosted, and for noshing throughout the week. Some said it was as good as any chicken liver pate or chopped liver they’d ever had.
1/2 cup dried French lentils
4 cups cremini or button mushrooms (or a mix of your favorites), washed; stems and caps sliced
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, more as needed
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried tarragon
1 Tbsp. golden miso paste
2 Tbsp. boiling water
1 cup walnuts
2 Tbsp. Tamari or soy sauce, or more to taste
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
several twists of fresh black pepper
fresh parsley, to garnish
Cook your lentils ahead of time. Cover with a few inches of water and bring to a boil. Cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender.
Heat oil in a cast iron skillet or deep frying pan. Add onions; cook until translucent and golden. Add garlic and mushrooms, and another two tablespoons of oil (try coconut if you have). Saute for one minute.
In a small bowl, whisk two tablespoons boiling water and one tablespoon miso paste. Add mixture to the pan. Add herbs, continue stir frying four to five minutes, or until mushrooms are well-coated and tender. Add a few dashes of soy sauce or water if necessary. Remove from heat.
Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add walnuts, stirring frequently. Cook for two minutes or until fragrant and golden. Remove immediately from pan; let cool.
Add lentils, toasted nuts, and mushroom mixture (slightly cooled by now) to a food processor or blender. Add soy sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, and black pepper to taste. Blend until desired consistency; I prefer it slightly chunky. You might prefer it smoother, like hummus.
If you find that your mixture needs more liquid, add soy sauce or vinegar. If you have a salt tooth like me, you’ll want to add a pinch or two of salt. Scoop into a serving bowl and garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy with crudites or crackers.